Physician Payment Reform: An Opportunity to Bolster Primary Care

James Rickert

First posted 9/07/11 on The Health Affairs Blog

Copyright ©2011 Health Affairs by Project HOPE – The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc. 

With the Budget Control Act of 2011 now signed into law, health care lobbyists are preparing to fight any changes to federal programs that affect their constituents.  One particular concern for physicians is the scheduled 30 percent cut to Medicare reimbursement mandated by the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula.

Any attempt to waive these cuts will need to be offset by lower spending elsewhere in the federal budget.  While no one can predict what action will occur, it appears that Congress is in no mood for increased health care spending, and some cuts are inevitable. Thoughtful and strategic changes in physician reimbursement  could meaningfully improve health care in our country while  reducing our health care spending.

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